3.31.2014

{Worldview}: My Thoughts on the New Noah Movie

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Last Saturday night, Josh and I headed to our little movie theater on base to watch the new "Noah" film directed by Darren Aronofsky. Wow. Where do I even begin?

 It's tempting to dismiss the film as a total farce, and I probably would have done so if I hadn't noticed so many professing Christians making such defensive (and at times, completely asinine) comments about it.  Yes, for some reason, some folks apparently feel the need to justify the blatant and (often) utterly ridiculous departures from Scripture as "artistic license," saying that we can "still learn a lot from this version of the story."

In case you haven't seen it (and I hope I can talk you out of wasting your money on it), I'll recap some of the "artistic licenses" they take in the film farce.

  • We are treated to a super-fast-forward version of watching a "Big Bang"-like beginning of the universe, followed by a single-celled organism evolving into a fish, then a lizard, then an otter-like creature, and so on until we have – SURPRISE! – a monkey, followed by man (coincidence? I think not), while Noah misquotes the "creation" story to make it compatible with the theory of evolution (He begins, "In the beginning, there was nothing," rather than the Biblical version, "In the beginning, GOD created…") The evolutionist propaganda is reinforced as we watch the bad guys kill the missing link – armadillo-dino-dog – in the first scene. (THAT'S why it's still missing – the evil carnivore bad guys barbecued it!)
  • Noah's grandfather, Methuselah, is portrayed as a slightly creepy guru /witch-doctor who lives in a mountaintop cave, serves hallucinogenic tea, is obsessed with berries (a rare treat in the mud pit they all live in), and magically heals his great-granddaughter-in-law's barrenness by touching her stomach. Oh, and he gives Noah a magic seed from the Garden of Eden that grows a Jack-and-the-Beanstalk forest in a matter of seconds, because man has proven his evil nature by chopping down all the forests and killing off all the plant life, don't ya know. Ironically, the magical forest produced by the seed is chopped down to build the ark. (I wonder if they even realize they kinda shot themselves in the foot there?)


  • Noah (hereafter referred to as "Psycho-Noah" to distinguish this fictitious character from the historical Noah this movie completely maligns) is presented, not as a "just" man like the Bible describes him, but as a militant-vegetarian-psycho-maniac who won't allow his family to eat meat or pick any of the vegetation growing in the barren wasteland (what exactly DO they eat?), and who spends most of the movie angrily brooding and contemplating the murder-suicide of his entire family, including his unborn granddaughters. No doubt in the musical version we'll be treated to Russell Crow's angst-y rendition of R.E.M.'s, "Here's me in the spotlight, losing my religion." The only resemblance Psycho-Noah has to the actual Noah is the name, the ark/animals, and that awkward post-ark incident where he gets drunk and is found naked and mocked by his son Ham, then covered up by Shem and Japheth (of course they kept THAT part).

  • God (or "Creator," as the film refers to him) is portrayed as a hands-off, enigmatic, vindictive meanie who unfairly punished the fallen angels (more on them later) for "trying to help man," and wants to kill off mankind entirely (including Noah and his family) in order to preserve the animals and plants, like a good little environmentalist. He never communicates with Psycho-Noah directly or explains his intentions to save him and his family through the Ark (as the real GOD does in the Biblical account). Psycho-Noah has a couple of vague and fuzzy visions of impending doom after he drinks some of Methuselah's tea, and that's about all the revelation he gets. It is never made clear to him that the ark is intended to save him and his family, as it is in the Biblical account. Psycho-Noah is convinced that God intends for everyone – including him and his family – to die, and thinks he's only building the ark to preserve the animals.

  • Speaking of his family… the Biblical account tells us that 8 people went into the ark – Noah and his wife, and his three sons and their three wives – but not in this film. Shem is lucky enough to get to bring his wife (only because Psycho-Noah believes she is barren and can't repopulate the earth), and Psycho-Noah gets to bring his wife since they're done having kids, but Ham and Japheth are out of luck. Ham attempts to bring along a girl he meets in a ditch full of corpses (who needs e-harmony?), but Psycho-Noah forces him to leave her stuck in a bear trap where she is shortly thereafter trampled by the bad guys who are coming to attack the ark. If Psycho-Noah had known that his granddaughter-in-law was miraculously pregnant with twins (thanks, witch-doctor Methuselah!), he probably would have put her in a bear trap and left her to die too. (But let's be clear that, while Psycho-Noah is okay with leaving women to die in bear traps, he would NEVER tolerate leaving a BEAR in a bear trap).

  • The "evil men," the line of Cain, are headed up by Tubal Cain, who frankly is friendlier and more likable than Psycho-Noah. He also quotes Scripture more accurately (of course). However, we know he's bad because he hunts animals and bites the heads off lizards (pretty much the only "sins" we ever see represented in the pre-flood world). Tubal Cain becomes the seventh human passenger on Psycho-Noah's ark after he hacks his way in during his army's assault against the ark. He secretly stows away below deck and plots to murder Psycho-Noah with Ham, who is still miffed that his dad left his girlfriend in the bear trap. Of course, the only details the Bible gives us about the actual Tubal Cain are that he was a descendant of Cain and that he was skillful in metal work. Everything else in the movie is completely made up.

  • OK, I can't go any further without bringing up the fallen angels, known in the movie as "The Watchers." These bizarre, giant rock men with six arms show up to help Psycho-Noah build the ark (because, you know, demons are so HELPFUL like that), and they come in super handy on the front lines when Tubal Cain shows up with his missile launchers. When the bad guys come to threaten Noah and ask him what he expects to do since they so greatly outnumber him, he announces, "I am not alone." Is he referring to God being on his side? Oh no. He's referring to his demonic rock buddies, who immediately jump up and start whooping up on the bad guys. These fallen angels are not portrayed as wicked beings who rebelled against God and were cast out of heaven FOREVER, like the Bible says. No, ol' meanie Creator just misunderstood their good intentions and unfairly punished them. Luckily, they eventually earn their way back up to heaven by their good deeds of building the ark (which looks kind of terrible, but hey, woodworking is hard when you have rock fingers!) and fighting off the bad guys. They dramatically ascend into heaven just before the flood hits when their rock shells rip open at the stomach and their glowing Tinkerbell bodies shoot off into the sky in beams of light, or, as my husband put it, "the part when Treebeard did the Care Bear stare." Yeah, it really was that ridiculous.
  • On a lesser note, it's not even a good movie, as far as movies go. The special effects stink. This isn't the sweeping epic we could have hoped for in any sense of the word - the ol' Charlton Heston Ten Commandments is far more impressive (and certainly much more theologically sound). The set is just a big mud pit with a shoddy looking ark (that we're not even sure is finished) and cheesy looking rock monsters. They don't even do a good job with the animals - we see a distant flock of birds coming in, then we see some very fake-looking snakes sliding in the door, then we see a herd of computer-generated, unidentifiable animals stampeding in with absolutely no detail, and it's over in a few seconds. In a purely cinematic sense, the film was anti-climactic and disappointing, considering the cast  and budget they had to work with.
  • However, I think the most disturbing departure from Scripture was that they COMPLETELY MISSED the significance of the type of Christ that is so obviously clear in the true, Biblical account of Noah's Ark. The ark represents the grace of God that is available to those who put their faith in Christ. Just as Noah and his family were saved from destruction by being sealed by God inside the ark, we have the opportunity to be saved from destruction eternally by being sealed under the blood of Christ.


Hollywood, in typical fashion, has taken a truly epic story brimming with great truths, and turned it into a puny, pathetic, ludicrous wad of liberal propaganda.... 

In the real story of Noah, GOD regrets that He made man because of the great evil they had brought upon the earth (which I'm pretty sure went WELL beyond having an affinity for armadillo-dino-dog burgers) and decides to destroy everything, INCLUDING the plants and animals. But then, GOD considers Noah, "a just man and perfect in his generations." HE decides to save Noah and his family via the ark, and the animals are included to provide for Noah and his family and to help repopulate the new earth after the Flood. GOD clearly details the entire plan to Noah, who trusts GOD and builds the ark in obedience, bringing his family and the animals inside. Then GOD closes the door of the Ark, and they are preserved inside until the waters recede and they are brought safely to rest on Mt. Ararat. There are no attacks or near-misses, no stow-aways, no murder plots, no attempts at escaping on life rafts. They are SAFE inside the ark, all eight of them.

You know what happened when they came out? Noah wasn't pouting about not having the "nerve" to murder his grand kids, that's for sure. Noah built an altar and sacrificed one of each of the clean animals that GOD told him to bring along. Yep, he killed a bunch of animals. Then GOD told him that they were allowed to use the clean animals as food. Yep, that's right – He told them they could be carnivores.  Of course, the Hollywood version couldn't include this, because their Psycho-Noah is a militant vegan whose whole purpose was to reestablish vegetarianism, and that would be, you know, super awkward... {crickets}

However, the biggest problem with this film, besides, you know, pretty much everything, is who gets the credit for saving man from destruction. "Creator"? Nope. "Creator" in this film wants mankind dead. It's Psycho-Noah who disobeys Creator and spares humanity, although we get the feeling he kind of regrets it.

So, what is wrong with this picture. Um, HELLO!?! GOD! GOD is the One who saves mankind from destruction! HE saved them in the real Noah's Ark, and HE saves them today through Jesus. This stuff matters, and it matters big time. 

It would be nice if we could all just agree to ignore this movie as simply another piece of Hollywood garbage, laughing it off as utter nonsense, and get on with our lives. If you can do that, by all means, do.

However, before you jump on the, "It's just artistic license and we can learn some good things from this movie," bandwagon, let me challenge you with this:

GOD cares VERY much about how HE is portrayed. The first two commandments expressly tell us Who GOD is, and that we can't take any "artistic license" with portraying Him to the world. The entire Bible reveals aspects of GOD's character to us, and that's what we have to go on. We can't add to it, we can't take away from it. And guess what? It's not just in the Old Testament. Jesus went into the Temple and chased the money changers out with whips and knocked their tables over when they were misrepresenting GOD to the people. All throughout the Bible, GOD gives VERY detailed instructions about how He is to be worshipped, and how we are to think of Him and tell others about Him. There is NO room for "artistic license" when it comes to representing God to the world if it means that you are changing ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF HIS CHARACTER AS REVEALED IN HIS WORD. Period.

In chapter 44, Isaiah describes the foolishness of a man who chops down a tree and uses half of the wood to build a cook fire, and the other half to carve an idol, which he then bows down and worships. Isaiah laments,

And none considereth in his heart,
neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say,
I have burned part of it in the fire;
yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof;
I have roasted flesh, and eaten it:
and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination?
shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?
He feedeth on ashes:
a deceived heart hath turned him aside,
that he cannot deliver his soul,
nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?
 
Psycho-Noah's "Creator"-god bears more resemblance to the pagan god, Moloch, who demanded infant sacrifice from his followers - a "god" who bears NO resemblance to the True GOD of the Bible.
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An idol is simply that – a lie  a lie you choose to believe about GOD. 

Guess what? Psycho-Noah, the movie, is a lie about GOD. It maligns HIS very character and HIS intentions and grace towards mankind. You can call it "artistic license" all you want, but in reality it's a graven image. It's an idol that a professing atheist setting out to make the "least Biblical Biblical movie" has carved and held up in his right hand for the world to see.

Don't bow down to it.

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*Addendum: In my original post, I didn't address the theme of the glowing snakeskin that is passed down through the line of Psycho-Noah, stolen by Tubal Cain, then restored to Psycho-Noah at the end of the film; but the implied symbolism of that rather bizarre relic has been troubling me since I watched the film. THIS ARTICLE is extremely interesting and exposes the Gnostic and Kabbalistic undertones of the movie and reinforces the fact that the god they portray has absolutely no resemblance to the true GOD of the Bible. I highly suggest you read it. 







8 comments:

  1. Thank you for speaking truth, Beth! A very sound-minded and solid post here. Although I was especially amused by the 'Care Bear stare' reference....hilarious. :)

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    1. Thanks, Breanne. :) I wish I could take credit for that comparison, but Josh came up with it... I was cracking up too.

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    2. Yea, the rock monsters were a joke..Not to mention Noah and family built that ark in 100 years not 12.. The Bible mentions Noah as a preacher of righteousness.. not here though, he cant even call God, God or quote Gen 1:1 correctly. Phsyco Noah is a good name.. About to kill his granddaughter, unbelievable.

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    3. Yes, I agree - this film bears no resemblance to the real account of Noah. I just read a really good article that exposes the Gnostic and Kabbalistic worldview expressed in the movie - I highly recommend reading it as well: http://drbrianmattson.com/journal/2014/3/31/sympathy-for-the-devil

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    4. Thank you so much! I am a Christian wife and mother and was so excited to see the movie. I would hate to think I put doubt about the one true God in my children by letting them watch this. Thank you again!

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    5. Katlin - thanks for the kind words, and I'm glad the post was helpful to you in deciding whether or not to see the movie. It sounds like you're a great Mom. :o) I wish more people would show that kind of discernment. God bless!

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  2. Art is a personal interpretation , your art is your own personal interpretation of your faith. So what you are saying is that you are allowed to take personal liberties with your art but others are not because it disagrees with what you believe. Do you believe in the freedoms our ancestors fought for in this country? Only when they benefit you it seems.

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    1. As a United States Navy wife living overseas; with a husband, three brothers-in-law, a cousin-in-law, a father-in-law, and various other relatives and friends currently serving or having served in various branches of our Armed Forces, yes, I think I do have an appreciation of the hard-earned freedoms we enjoy as Americans.

      If you read my post carefully, you'll notice that I never said that the director shouldn't have been allowed to make this film. He has the freedom to make whatever sort of movie he wants, and I, likewise, have the freedom to voice my opinion about it, although you don't seem to think that I should be able to exercise my freedom of speech to do so. You, likewise, have the freedom to disagree with me.

      What I have done here is simply point out how the movie he made does NOT reflect the accurate account of Noah as described in the Bible. It has nothing to do with "art." I'm simply pointing out that his version of "Noah" bears no resemblance to the historical Noah.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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